Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones

When I was pregnant I didn't have any firm ideas about how I'd like to decorate Talitha's nursery, save for the fact I didn't really fancy incorporating the more traditional elements of pink/blue and soft toys everywhere. I was also reluctant to get too into decorating for her as she doesn't really have her own room. It's still a bit of a work in progress, and in fact she's in a room which is a hybrid of a home office for B, a guest room and a nursery. That said, it's worked out pretty well and she has one side of the room, while everything else is fairly well contained on the other side. Having the room as a multi-purpose space has meant that I haven't injected as much colour as I perhaps would if she was in her own little nursery. Instead, I've focused on making her side of the room cosy, with soft pinks and greys that blend into the room's existing scheme.

As someone who loves a new homeware item or two, I was delighted to hear about the new Mamas & Papas collection, designed by the brilliant Niki Jones. (I was even more delighted when they offered to send me a few pieces to try out!) Straight away I could see how the capsule collection was sympathetic to nurseries while not being too 'babyish'. Since becoming parents both B and I have marvelled at the sheer amount of stuff that has built up around our home. Even though we've tried to stick to the essentials it all seems to pile up - and much of it has only been needed for a short season. With this is mind I wanted to create a nursery with items that would last well beyond the first year and would make a nice hand-me-down for future children. (No, I'm not pregnant again before you ask!) 

Safety Note :-

I just want to preface all this by pointing out that Talitha is now one, so we feel a bit more comfortable putting the odd item in her cot. Before this we kept it super simple with her sleeping in a sleeping bag, with nothing else in her cot at all. I've styled the coverlet in her cot, but I think it's also perfectly suited to being used on a chair, on the floor, over your lap... anywhere!

With regards to the bumper, opinion on them is divided but we actually use ours outside the cot bars - not to protect from knocks and bumps - but rather to shield Tal when she lies down in the cot. According to Mamas & Papas the critical element is to remove them when the child can push up on hands and knees/sit unaided around 6 months of age. (I think/hope we're ok as the bumper sits outside the bars on Tal's cot!) 

Yes, yes - the cot bumper usually would go inside the cot. But we don't usually use a cot bumper to stop bumps and knocks, instead we just use it to block off the end where Tal lies down to reduce distractions when she's falling asleep!

The soft colours in the capsule collection are what appealed to me first of all. The soft grey and pink tones, combined with the more fun pops of warmer colours like the mustard yellow are gorgeous. The geometric design also feel contemporary and add interest. Each piece feels really considered and wouldn't just be restricted to use in a nursery. In fact, the coverlet is now a staple in our living room. It's so cosy to wrap up under, but makes a handy quilt to pop on the floor when any friends with little babies visit.

The collaboration with Niki Jones is such a smart way to bring fresh inspiration to a much-loved brand. Quite aside from Mamas & Papas, her work is inspiring, especially her use of colour and extra detailing such as appliqué and patchworks. The Mamas & Papas vibe is all about products 'designed for parents, by parents' and this collection embodies it beautifully. 

Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones - Gathered Cheer blog
Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones - Gathered Cheer blog

How cute is that moon cushion? I have to admit, I usually play my interiors very safe and stick to soft / muted tones. But this yellow is absolutely beaut and creates just the right amount of interest without being too much.

Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones - Gathered Cheer blog

The detailing on the pieces is stunning too. Who doesn't love a pom pom? Can you spot Tallie in the cot image below getting to grips with the pom poms coverlet? Too cute! There are four other pieces in the collection that are not pictured here: a lampshade, a gorgeous sleeping bag, a sweet house cushion and a beautiful 'Lotus' rug. They all sit alongside each other so well but they'd work really well on their own, complementing an existing nursery scheme. 

Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones - Gathered Cheer blog
Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones - Gathered Cheer blog
Mamas & Papas X Niki Jones - Gathered Cheer blog

Moon cushion | Coverlet |

Cot bumper | Cot sheets (note, these are a larger size, so I tucked them under Tal's matress)

What do you think? It's been so fun styling these new pieces in Tallie's room - I'm pretty sure she loves them too!

Niki Jones X mamas and papas.jpg

The Niki Jones collection is in stores now.

Disclosure - Mamas & Papas gave me the products mentioned in this post for styling and review purposes. All opinions are my own. 


Our Nursery Nook

As I shared in my last post, we're currently sharing our bedroom with Tallie. Truth be told we're working on moving her into her own room now, but before we do I wanted to share her little corner with you as I've so loved it these past six months. General advice is that you room share for around six months but (as with anything parenting related) it's all so subjective and down to preference and I know friends who have room shared with their little people for shorter or longer periods. We're definitely ready for her to move rooms now, but having her right by our bed in the early days with all the frequent night feeds was wonderful. That said, I actually switched sides with my husband as I couldn't sleep right by the cot. Every single snuffle or wriggle had me waking up and it was so silly. So now my husband sleeps next to Tal's cot and I'm on the other side - even that little distance helps so well. 

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

We're fortunate that our room is a fairly good size, but even so when planning the nook I prioritised a few key elements: 

COT

For us, we wanted to go down the sidecar cot route. Bed-sharing sounded lovely but I just didn't feel confident enough with it, and so having her cot with its side down right by us was the best of both worlds. It also meant feeding times were easy as I didn't have to step foot out of bed. We chose the Chicco next to me cot, but the Snüzpod is so lovely too. (Have you seen the new Snüzkot? It's beautiful!) Naturally, we chose the grey cot so it would fit in nicely with our bedroom colours.

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

CHANGING STATION

A changing station of some sort is pretty handy in a nursery nook for all the many nappy changes but it honestly doesn't have to be fancy. We opted to put a changing mat (this wedge from John Lewis) on top of a chest of drawers, but a mat on the floor would have sufficed just as well. Since it is on top of the drawers we use the top drawer for all the nappy changing essentials, it keeps them close at hand without cluttering up the space. Plus, now she's so grabby and fidgety during changes we need to keep the decks clear! On top of the unit we also have the Gro Egg. Our bedroom temperature is a bit of a nightmare - one minute it is too hot and the next it's freezing. So with a new baby we were super cautious and wanted to keep a close eye on things so we could dress her appropriately. It also acts as a gentle nightlight, which is lovely. 

*I must add a little note about safety here. We attached the changing wedge to the chest of drawers with command strips to stop it sliding all over the place. We didn't attach the chest of drawers to the wall for stability as is recommended, so I'm super careful anytime we use it. I never leave Tallie unattended on the mat - especially now she's prone to attempting to roll over on it.*

Can you tell I shot this back when England was 'enjoying' a heat wave? I wasn't kidding about the fluctuating temperature in our room!

Can you tell I shot this back when England was 'enjoying' a heat wave? I wasn't kidding about the fluctuating temperature in our room!

STORAGE

We soon learnt that having a baby meant the amount of stuff we owned seemed to multiply dramatically, despite me trying to buy only the essentials. We use the chest of drawers for her clothes, and I'm forever going through them to clear out the outgrown pieces! (It happens far too often...) We have managed without a hanging rail as so many of her clothes are simple babygros or leggings but when we move her out to her room I'd love one just so we can hang up special outfits.

LIGHTING

I so often forget about lighting in a room, but it's so important. For our nursery nook we opted to put a light inside our wardrobe. Handily it's a large space and even has a plug socket inside. This means that we can leave the light on in there overnight, and when we need to do a nappy change we just slide open the door a fraction. If we didn't have this option, I'd have chosen add a dimmable switch to our table lamp. The last thing you want in the middle of the night is a blazing bright light! 

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog

CURTAINS

The curtains we have are meant to be blackout, but sadly in adjusting them (trimming off the bottom) they don't fit the windows brilliantly and so let in a lot of light. Not only does this seem to affect Tallie's sleep, but it wakes us too so we needed a solution. This is one of those 'make do and mend' solutions, as we're currently using a Gro blind. These aren't really meant for everyday use, but we've adapted ours slightly by using adhesive velcro to stick it literally to our window frame. (Cheapy UPVC windows, so hoping it comes off fairly cleanly when needed). This means they fit the frame snugly and it's easier to open, rather than using the window suckers it comes with which are a little fiddlier to keep unsticking and resticking.

DECORATION

For me the most fun part in any room is the decoration. It's where you can really let your personality speak by choosing prints for the wall and other accessories that mean something to you. With it being a nook, we didn't have all that much space to stand any objects so instead we decided to add a little interest above Tallie's nappy change area. A simple string of lights (which light softly at night), a really precious print and a happy sun all set off the cheery corner. The sun too has become a favourite with Tallie, as she loves to stare at it during changing time. I so love our picture ledge and cloud hook, as kindly given to me by Margarita at Chocolate Creative. Marga joined me on a Gathered Cheer social in Faversham last year and then I saw her at a lovely market hosted by Papermash. Marga makes such beautiful pieces and I'm so chuffed to be able to look at these everyday. The print too has so much meaning and was kindly given to me by the super talented designer Liz Mosely after I commented on how much I loved it on a photo she posted on Instagram. Amazingly, the print arrived about three weeks before I found out I was pregnant and given the verse on it, it felt way more meaningful and prophetic than being simply a happy coincidence! "Your eyes saw my unborn body - all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." (Psalm 139: 16)

Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog | Photo by Emily Quinton
Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog
Nursery nook styling in master bedroom | Gathered Cheer blog | Photo by Emily Quinton

I've so enjoyed adapting our room to make room for our little bird and it's lovely that it wasn't a tricky task - it was more a case of getting a few key pieces of furniture and having a bit of a shift around. Also, it shouldn't be too tricky to rearrange when she moves out and we put our room back as it was. Although her nursery space will be a somewhat bigger task. We've finally ordered her cot and we're planning on having a big sort out in our spare room. It's a room that is going to have to work very hard as it'll be a combination of a nursery, a guest room and work space for B. That's a lot of areas to squeeze into one place! I'll let you know how we get on...

PLUS to celebrate Tallie turning six whole months next week, I'm planning lots more baby fun content. There are a few things I've kept meaning to share but I've been so slack, so I figure we'll do one week of baby heavy posts and then after that things will calm down and I'll be back to sharing book reviews / interiors pieces / DIYs etc.

Post to come next week include:

  • A little peek at my baby shower - with a handy shopping edit
  • What I packed in my hospital bag
  • The things we've loved and actually used in the past six months
  • The launch of something fun and exciting which I can't reveal just yet...!

-x-

All photos shot and styled by Ruth Garner for Gathered Cheer with the exception of the close up of the bunny rabbit and the close up of the picture ledge and cloud hook which were taken by the lovely Emily Quinton.

I was given a few items that I've mentioned in this post, including the print (Liz Mosely), the lights (Cox & Cox), the picture ledge and cloud hook (Chocolate Creative). All opinions are of course my own!